Crio’s Racing: New Year 2011 to 2012

Just as well that this is a time of year when many people neither know nor care what day of the week it is – a look at the racing fixture would hardly help. This weekend offers an unusual cast of meetings. The regular Saturday afternoon habit is delayed to a NYE under lights at the Valley, whilst the traditional Standish/Bagot Day is to be run on the public holiday, Monday the 2nd.  There are, though, plenty of other meetings for punters scattered around the state. Towong, amongst others, have a 6 race programme on Saturday afternoon at their beautiful track at the top of the Murray. It is a “must do” some time.

There are also meetings at Hanging Rock, Terang, Mornington and even Pakenham picnics for those who want to kick off 2012 at the races on Sunday. I recall some determined blokes in my youth who’d get to the course early on New Year’s Day, grab a beer, light up a durry and spec in the first anywhere, lest reckless resolutions might soon take hold! I’ve also worked with some pretty sickly stock on 01/01, remembering one year that I “carried” some queasy types through a day at Vic Park gallops before driving them to the lickers at Angle Park. They were spent.

It is difficult to gauge how the Saturday night meeting will go at the Valley. I suspect they’ll get some dinner traffic but little punting interest…many professionals have taken the week off. The forecast is for a beautiful night so it will be lovely on the lawns and the fireworks will be easily viewed from the North Hill afterwards – but, be warned, it is a shocking place to get a cab out of (maybe NYE public transport might be OK?). Hard to proffer much punting advice. Maybe stick with some form jockeys…Froggy Newitt and Daniel Stackhouse won’t let you down too often.

Fields are still to be finalized for Flemington on Monday. The forecast is for a scorcher and I hope this doesn’t cause too many horses to jar up. Maybe it will create a surface to challenge the Standish race record, set ten years ago when Iglesia pulled off one of the greatest plunges of modern times.

There’s a lot of competition for the recreational dollar this weekend…whether it is taxis home or ice creams for the kids, so the punt is just another interest and potential cost.

Hopefully readers are relaxed and looking forward to a New Year. The races at this time of year are often focused on fun and family. Luckily very few people worry about their diary during this period so won’t be stressed at the convoluted racing calendar….highlighted by what appears to be the 2012 Perth Cup to be run this Saturday (31/12/2011). For the record, it’s a skinny field and too many chances have drawn out. Maybe the reliable W. Pike on Tranquillity as a 2012 omen for a peaceful year ahead for fellow Knackers.

Good luck!


  1. Hope dehydration doesnt set in when you are working at the track
    Its hot in sunny SA with more to come – beach before punting with the” odd” beer or glass of “white “thrown in

  2. punters take note: due to heat the races at Flemington are now starting at 1150 , with the last at 330.

  3. Also, disappointingly, thye Hanging Rock races today (01/01/12) were abandoned after the first due to a “cavity” on the track – hence it being ruled to be unsafe!

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